|Early morning light on the forest|
I awoke at dawn to the sound of birds singing. They made such a racket we couldn't sleep, so Roger and I ended up rising in the wee morning hours. Our early wake-up call did have a silver lining, as we witnessed some gorgeous light from the rising sun.
After a quick breakfast, we decided to pack up and trek back to our car. This way we'd get a jump on the hikers, and maybe even hit the closest town in time for brunch.
|My hubby shows his strength!|
So off we trotted, retracting our steps from the day before. It was still very early in the morning, and no one was stirring as we passed by the lush meadow with it's multitude of tents. Roger spied a leaning tree, and posed for some macho photo ops.
Roger is a fast walker, and marched ahead as if on a mission. I, however, moseyed behind, stopping frequently to photograph all the things I'd missed on the hike in (and recapturing some of the lovely scenes once again)
|More burned forest|
The big difference between the day before was the wonderful bright sunlight streaming into the forest. It even made the burned-out areas look good.
I made sure to get photos of all the wildflowers I'd spied on yesterday's walk.
|Unusual purple flower|
And the bark of the Ponderosa Pines, which glowed orange in the early morning sunshine.
|Love the color of this tree's bark|
Coming upon our first creek crossing, (the one that we had to don sandals and wade through) I was quick enough to capture Roger on video.
One great thing about early morning hiking - seeing dewdrops bejeweling the vegetation. Like tiny diamonds!
|Morning dew looks like jewels|
Arriving back at our car, after offloading our packs, and changing clothes, we headed down the dusty, gravel road. Not far from our trailhead, we stopped at a roadside pullout to take in another wonder of this wilderness area - Steins Pillar.
Rising 350 feet above the valley below, Steins Pillar is a noticeable landmark. Formed by rhyolite ash erupting from old Cascade mountains some 25 million years ago, this compacted ash turned to stone. Wind and water over the millennia weathered the rock, producing the tall pillar seen today.
A short, 2-mile trail takes visitors to Steins Pillar's very base. I really wanted to explore this path, but after hiking all day yesterday with his old worn-out boots, Roger was finished. So I decided to save this path for another visit.
|Steins Pillar close-up|
One final glimpse of this magnificent formation (and a few photos too) and I bid the Mill Creek Wilderness goodbye. A successful weekend backpacking trip, I'd gotten my hubby out hiking and discovered a new favorite Central Oregon destination.
(Now for that second breakfast...)
Sharing with: Wednesday Around the World